Eastern vs. Western views of hope during our unsettled time: A conflict and resolution

One major conflict between Eastern and Western philosophy is over whether one has any warrant to hope. The Eastern line adheres to the thought: being present with what is present just is freedom, is realization. One attains to ultimate tranquility just when one intuits this, after which time one is fully with what is. Because one is saturated in actuality, one could have no reason to hope that something else could be better since one would have no more thought about anything ever being better or worse or otherwise.

The Western thought permits of a crucial logical distinction between actuality and possibility: what is may not be as good, valuable, honorable, worthwhile, etc., as what could be. Admitting this distinction, one inclines to a variety of mental acts concerned with the future, acts such as intending, wishing, wanting, longing, and hoping. The postulate of hope is that one’s longing for the good, which is as of yet only a logical or empirical possibility, could be fulfilled.

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